Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], February 10 (ANI): Voting for the first phase of Uttar Pradesh elections on 58 assembly seats covering 11 districts of the state will begin on Thursday at 7 am.
The voting will conclude at 6 pm today.
The first phase will cover the 'Jat-dominant belt' of the western part of the state.
The districts that are going to the polling today include Mathura, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahar, Hapur, Shamli, Baghpat, Aligarh, Agra and Gautam Buddha Nagar.
As many as 623 candidates are in the fray in the first phase of the assembly polls while nearly 2.27 crore voters will decide the fate of these candidates.
In the first phase of elections, the constituencies that have been the centre of attention and have particularly raised the political heat throughout the election campaign this year are Noida, Kairana, and Meerut among others.
From the Noida assembly seat, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has once again fielded Pankaj Singh, son of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh whereas Congress has fielded Pankhuri Pathak for whom party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also held a door-to-door campaign. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has fielded Kriparam Sharma from this seat and Samajwadi Party's (SP) Sunil Chaudhary is also a candidate from this seat.
Meerut assembly seat has been the talking point after SP leader Rafiq Ansari passed the "Hindugardi" remark in a purported video. The BJP has fielded Kamal Dutt Sharma against him. Congress's Ranjan Sharma and BSP's Mohd Dilshad are also contesting from this seat.
The Kairana assembly seat, that made the headlines for the migration of Hindus, was highlighted by the BJP in its campaign. SP has fielded Nahid Hassan while Mriganka Singh from the BJP is up against him.
For Agra Rural (SC) seat, SP leader Mahesh Kumar Jatav will contest against former Uttrarakhnad governor and BJP leader Baby Rani Maurya. Upendra Singh from Congress and Kiran Prabha Kesari from BSP will also be in the fray here.
Nearly 50,000 paramilitary personnel from 412 companies of central paramilitary forces have been deployed at different locations to maintain law and order as the election campaign for the first phase of assembly polls in western Uttar Pradesh ended on Tuesday evening.
The police have sealed the borders of the State and strict vigilance is underway to maintain peace in 58 assembly constituencies which will go to the polls today.
The 403-member Uttar Pradesh Assembly is scheduled to go to the polls in seven phases on February 10, 14, 20, 23, 27, March 3, and 7. The counting of votes will take place on March 10. (ANI)